Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Safe Journey to Eternity - Mr Lee Kuan Yew's final journey

I recall the time when the late President Sheares who died in office on May 12, 1981. President Sheares was buried in Kranji State Cemetery on May 15, 1981 after lying in state at the Istana for 2 days for the public to pay their respects that I went there. It was sad to see the two most prominent men who left in this earth that they had shared with their work when they were alive.
The funeral procession of the late President Sheares, I saw soldiers lining at Selegie Road with their rifles lowered in salute as the gun carriage glided past , bearing the Singapore flag-draped coffin. The funeral procession attracted large crowds of people along the procession route to get a glimpse of the gun carriage and to say the last farewell to the Nation’s President Sheares.
State Funeral at Commonwealth Ave West
And this time, on the 29th March 2015, it was such a huge crowds of people of more than 10,000, young or old alike, stood along the road from Parliament House to University Cultural Centre (UCC) and it was heavily downpours in the morning as if Heaven was crying for him after seeing people drenched and stood lining along the road that had touched the heaven.
Mourners stood drenched on the road
A large crowds of mourners stood along the stretch of the road in between lining up holding with umbrella and wore poncho in the streets and some of them find shelters under the train platform. My mum went to Commonwealth Mrt to bid goodbye to the Late Lee Kuan Yew where she lives nearby and I was further away from C'wealth Mrt as it was too crowded to look for her.
Policeman tight up the rope at Traffic light
I saw the policeman tight up the rope to prevent the crowds to cross the traffic light when the state funeral procession passed by at 1.30pm. The late Lee Kuan Yew's cortege will wind its way pass significant national landmarks - City Hall, NTUC Centre, the Singapore Conference Hall and Marina Barrage, will go through Queenstown, Singapore's oldest housing estate, and through Clementi for the funeral service at the University Cultural Centre (UCC).
State Funeral Procession - Lky's Cortege
At about 1.30pm, I saw oncoming vehicles and I managed to see the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's cortege passed by just in front of me. Mourners kept saying aloud chanting "Lee Kuan Yew! Lee Kuan Yew!" as it roared loudly along the road and deeply sadness to see our founding father of the Nation.
Petrol station set up the board Banner
I was about to go to other place and it was still time and happened to walk pass this petrol station, behind it, is the Hakka cemetery where my block is hidden from view. The Petrol Station set up the huge banner board in bid to Farewell our founding father of the Nation.
State Funeral passed from NCC at 5pm
State Funeral passed to junction of Queensway
That's not enough for the public to see him again and yet there's still extra time slot at 4pm to 6pm from UCC to Mandai Crematorium at the same place but the opposite road at Commonwealth Ave West, junction to Queensway road. And this time, with my hubby, me, my mum and her three old neighbours at Queensway road which is nearer to her place just 3 mins walk opposite the road nearby her place at Blk 97 Commonwealth Drive bus-stop close to the "T" junction.
Junction of Queensway
Blk 97 C'wealth Dr - bus-stop
After 3 hours passed, I noticed that not all people know that there was another timeslot - 4pm to 6pm for State Funeral procession will pass through from University Cultural Centre to Mandai Crematorium. It was still early, as we arrived around 5pm at the bus-stop to where the State funeral will pass its way to Sembawang road where the Nee Soon camp is and then to Mandai.
At the overhead bridge at 5.21pm
At the overhead bridge was not crowded at the time and the bus-stop where we sat on the bench was crowded but not much as most people were watching TV at home about the State funeral procession at the same time, didn't know much about this. I would believe there will be repeat telecast and if not, to 'set' record on it would be much better and I did it.
Lky's Cortege passed its way at 5.21pm
Too much emotional and sadness to see the cortège on its way to Mandai and yet the public including my mum and her old neighbours chanting out loud "Lee Kuan Yew! Lee Kuan Yew!". Deep in my heart, I held with my sadness, unsteady pose, to snap a shot of Lee Kuan Yew's cortège with my shaking hands, full of emotional around people who were crying his name out loud.
Casket passed through Queensway at 5.24pm
The funeral procession made its way from UCC to Mandai Crematorium; it started from Clementi Road, Commonwealth Ave West, Commonwealth Ave, Queensway, Farrer Road, Adam Road, Lornie Road, Upper Thomson Road, Sembawang Road, Mandai Avenue.
After the Casket passed, people dispersed in minutes and rushed home to watch TV that was recorded from the recorder.
In time to come or move on, people will fondly remember Mr Lee Kuan Yew's struggle to build the icon of Singapore from 3rd World to 1st World. The government helped my late parent-in-laws (1920-2006) and oversea Chinese nationals to grant Singapore citizenship in 1957 and 1958 (special written to ministry's office) and my brother-in-law (b.1944 Johor as state of Malaya) to grant citizenship in 1963 on written letter from my father-in-law to bring his eldest son back to Singapore. Without Mr Lee Kuan Yew, there will be no one to help out the poor citizens' sufferings and lived hard life. Back then, we lived from remote "ragged" home to a new housing in 1950s onwards otherwise we would lived on the "dirty" muddy or swampy that close to home forever without improvement. 
His spirit and legacy, his wonderful foresight, will always be remembered and respected as a great leader. 
Farewell Mr Lee Kuan Yew on your safe journey to Eternity.

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